Thursday, September 17, 2009

Estuary: A Haibun

Twenty-six hundred years ago, Old Lao Tsu passed the gatekeeper of northern China on his way to the desert to die. He was finished, sickened at heart over the ways of the world.

Before he passed through the gate, the keeper persuaded Old Lao Tsu to put down in writing all that he had learned in his long life. In very few words he left his instructions to his children, and his children’s children, and his children’s children’s children: how to live in prosperity or equally in misfortune; how to yield without fear or clamor of the soul; how to accept, without giving up; how to find peace in the heart.

All these many years later, that are only a blink of the Universal Eye, I ask you Old Lao Tsu, how long does it take for water tumbling over rock to turn boulders into fine grains of sand, traveling the river to the sea? Where is that Ocean Old Lao Tsu? Did you ever find its estuary? Does it exist, where the fresh water flows into the salty sea? Is there a beach born of boulders of our sorrows tumbled down into fine, sugary sand?

I hope you made it through those cold desert nights – and kept going till you found that shore, that restful place of peace.

We hear the distant lapping of waves and smell the salt of that Great Ocean on the breeze. It carries hopeful knowing deep into our souls, that all rivers flow to that peaceful shore where the hardened stone of our hearts breaks down into fine grains of sand - small, insignificant and common - sand on the shore.

hardened memories
softening as they are washed
turning stone to sand


Sandi said...

This makes me feel soft and calm. I won't ruin this feeling with a bunch of brain words.

el poquito said...


I thought of you today. I was reading a book from the library: "Some of Us Did NOT Die" by June Jordan. The 11th chapter - Besting a Worse Case Scenario.

I thought of you, how you would like her and what she said and how she said it.

I just recently discovered June Jordan - recommended to me - now I pass her on to you.

If you liked Audre Lorde, you're gonna like June Jordan.